[This article is part of the Codex Review: Space Wolves article series.]
My interest in my Space Wolves has been piqued of late. Having played a game last week with my Razorspam list against Horde Orks and started to look at possible 'Ardboyz lists, I have deluded myself into thinking that I can put together a decent codex review for the army. So, over the next few weeks, I will do my best to illumine you as to the awesomeness that is Space Wolves.
For my intial three installments, I am going to do a sort of "good, bad, and ugly" of the Space Wolf Named Characters, but instead have decided that I need to re-label it to "awesome, decent, ehh...." The Space Wolf codex is most certainly one of the most powerful codexes out there, which isn't news, and the named character selection is similarly pretty good.
In this first installment, I am going to look at the characters that are "ehh..." This means that while not outright terrible, for their points, they aren't worth taking usually unless you want them for a certain flavor or specific ability.
With that said, let's get cracking!
Lukas is an interesting upgrade and at first glance looks decent merely due to his stat line. However, two things immediately make him not worth taking, in my opinion. #1 is his points cost. 140pt. for 2W with a 3+ save is dumb, even if successful hits need to be rerolled. That just won't protect him. He doesn't have eternal warrior either, so he can easily be doubled out in combat by a powerfist. #2 is the fact that to take him, you need to take a unit of blood claws, who are widely known as inferior to grey hunters in almost every way (which we will discuss later in the series). Those two things are enough to discount him. Throw in the fact that when he dies, he stands a good chance of taking out a good portion of his own unit, I say this guy is out. Sorry Lukas.
Let's break him down a bit. This guy is basically a thunderwolf cav with some additional wounds, attacks and a better weapon skill. His two special rules are somewhat decent. Lord of the Wolfkin allow fenrisians within 12" of him to use his leadership as their own. Couple this with rerolls given to fenrisians due to his being a thunderwolf cav and they become a bit better at taking morale tests. Wrath of the Savage is pretty cool as it allows Canis to replace his attack profile with a number of attacks equal to the number of enemy models in base contact to him. Imagine assaulting into a unit of Ork boyz, getting surrounded and then proceeding to beat face. Since Canis can choose to reroll either to-hit or to-wound with his claws (not both though), he should be able to seriously cause some close combat damage.
Here's the downside though. 3+ armor on a 185pt model. Canis has no invul save and while S5 protect from a lot of things that can ID him, he is still susceptible to dying from torrents of wounds. Honestly, you are better off spending more money on a meatier generic thunderwolf lord. Leave Canis at home.
The fang morkai makes his unit fearless, which can be a boon for the low leadership of Space Wolves. The wolf amulet gives him a 4+ invul. The wolf helm of russ allows all models in your army that can draw LoS to Ulrik to reroll failed morale tests. Another great leadership boon to your army. The helm also forces enemy ICs wishing to attack Ulrik in combat to first pass a leadership test or lose the ability to attack at all for the entire round of combat. There is some debate as to whether the morale reroll works if Ulrik is in a transport.
His rules are kind of meh. The Slayer's Oath allows him and his unit to reroll hits against models that are T5 or greater. Good for taking out MCs, but otherwise, not too useful. His Mentor rule allows you to pick one non-Unique model in the army and make him +1 WS to a max of WS6. This is also meh.
So, Ulrik's true value lies within his ability to keep your army from running away. but is that worth it for 180pt? Taking Wolf Guard and splitting them into team leaders allows much of your army to be at least LD9. This is the same as most other Marine variants. I think I would rather leave Ulrik at home in lieu of other HQ choices.
So there are the "ehh..." choices in the named character category. None are outright terrible (though Lukas tries), but there are definitely better uses for your points out there.
In my next installment, will look at the decent named HQs. Stay tuned.
Other articles about Space Wolves:
Why Space Wolves are so great
Space Wolf Stealth Cheese
Why Long fangs are just that Good
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All pictures provided thanks to Lexicanum and Warhammer 40k Wikia.